This Christmas, we’ll sip on this rich, easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate and revel in the spirit of the holidays while gathering with family.

Hot cocoa is perfect for winter family gatherings. It’s a fabulous way to warm up after an afternoon of sledding, skiing, caroling or while sitting around a roaring fire on a cold evening. If you’re addicted to Starbuck’s Peppermint Hot Chocolate, save some money and make it at home!

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate in a white mug

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

My childhood memories of the holidays include hours on the nearby Arboretum’s sledding hill with my dad and three sisters. His job was to keep our excited, wound up little souls out of my mom’s hair as she prepared our Christmas feast. We loved returning home, rosy-cheeked, and having a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows to help warm us up.

Granted, it was milk heated on the stovetop, then doctored up with Hershey’s syrup.  Always topped with marshmallows. But we savored every drop. My easy peppermint hot chocolate is a bit more indulgent but just as memorable! 

When our 3 grown children come by on Christmas Eve, we always watch an old movie. We’ve worked our way through all the Hitchcock films and look forward to our next selection in December! Hot Cocoa and a movie is a wonderful tradition.

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate pans and garnishes

Hot Cocoa and Movie Night

Hot chocolate is featured in numerous holiday movies from (affiliate links) The Polar Express to The Santa Clause to The Holiday (a rom-com that my daughter and I love!). So grab your favorite family holiday flick, cook up some of this ultra-creamy peppermint hot cocoa, and reminisce about the joys of seasons past. The true spirit of the holidays is to focus on those near and dear to you and this time spent together is priceless.

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate in a mug topped with whipped cream and candy cane shards

How to Make Hot Cocoa with Peppermint

Start by simmering whole milk and cream with rich Dutch cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate. Using whole milk with a higher percentage of butterfat and heavy cream ensures a luscious texture.

The addition of both cocoa powder and chocolate give a double boost of chocolate flavor that you can’t get with a hot cocoa packet.

Each sip of this peppermint hot chocolate was like drinking warm, silky smooth melted chocolate ice cream. A dreamy indulgence!

Add vanilla, sugar, and peppermint extract to round out the flavors perfectly. Remember that peppermint extract is potent. Don’t be tempted to add more as it will overwhelm the other flavors. If you’re of legal drinking age, you can always add a bit of schnapps instead of extract.

Offer a wide variety of toppings to make an interactive hot chocolate bar. Marshmallows of all sizes, crushed candy canes, chocolate curls, and sweetened whipped cream are all delicious options! Even the peppermint snubbing hubby drank a mug!

Two mugs of Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate topped with whipped cream

Check Out More Recipes for the Holidays:

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate | Rich, silky cocoa with a peppermint twist!

Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 6

Rich, silky cocoa with a peppermint twist!


  • 3 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder (regular cocoa powder can be used, too)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4-1 teaspoon peppermint extract (to taste)
  • Sweetened whipped cream, to serve
  • Crushed candy canes or peppermint candies, to serve
  • Shaved chocolate, to serve
  • Marshmallows, to serve



Simmer 3/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth. Add milk and cream and return to a simmer. Continue cooking and whisk in chocolate and sugar until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves.

Mix in vanilla and peppermint extract. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract, taste and add more to get the intensity you desire.

Use a ladle to pour hot chocolate into mugs or cups. Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with crushed candy canes, marshmallows, and/or chocolate shavings if desired.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 mug

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 376Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 6g


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